By: Matt Miller
Special to Horizons

Traditionally, Valentine’s Day is about buying lavish gifts for your significant other or someone you’ve got your eye on in the hopes that you can impress them.  

But this year, I would like to challenge you to do something drastically different: be your own valentine.

Practicing self-care can be a foreign concept to some, as we spend most of our time trying to impress our professors, supervisors, significant others, and parents.  

Telling ourselves positive affirmations, making gratitude lists or treating ourselves to dinner and a movie are great ways to practice self-love.  

Ask yourself: what am I doing today to take care of myself mentally, emotionally, physically and spiritually?

If you are in a relationship, buying something for your significant other can be a kind gesture that lets the other know that you are thinking about them.  

However, try to attach a poem, meaningful love letter, or art project to the gift this year in an effort to break away from the mundane, run-of-the-mill Valentine’s Day gift.  

When was the last time you made a gratitude list?  If your answer is, “What’s a gratitude list?” then listen up! A gratitude list is simply that: a list of things that you are grateful for.

 Often times, we spend too much of our brain power on solving problems and thinking about the negative but rarely do we take time out of our day to focus on the positive.  

In reality, we all have great qualities and much to be grateful for!

Try making a gratitude list this Valentine’s Day, or any day, to practice self-care and positive thinking.

In my opinion, positive affirmations are the most important tool a person can learn.  

From an early age, many people develop conscious or unconscious negative beliefs about themselves, often rooted in bullying or trauma.  

These negative beliefs can fester in our minds and affect our happiness, self-esteem, relationships and decision-making.  

Do yourself a favor:  look in the mirror and tell yourself five positive affirmations each morning after brushing your teeth.

 If you make this a daily habit, I promise that you will notice a positive change in your attitude about yourself.

Finally, treat yourself! Use part of your tax return to buy something special for yourself.  

Buy yourself a bouquet of flowers and keep them in your room as a reminder to be compassionate to yourself.  

Or better yet, go out and have a nice dinner at a fancy restaurant in town (if you can afford it).  

Maybe buying a tub of your favorite ice cream and settling in with a favorite movie is what you need.  The choice is up to you.

ERAU Counseling Services are available to assist you. Making an appointment to see a counselor on campus is easy and there is no out-of-pocket costs!

Just call the Counseling Center to make an appointment 928.777.3312.


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